I now know I was putting up a front to be strong, not taking a moment to cry as she was in a better place, right? No more pain and suffering, right?
During the following months I submerged myself in to many things to what I now know I was masking the pain. I was involved with PTO at my daughters school, at my job we were going through some things and eventually it was an acquisition so trying to stay afloat and essential was very time consuming as well. I also started a personal health journey which also turned into a side business. I was getting “me” back so I thought. My husband and I did many things to keep our daughter moving forward we would take weekend family trips to new places, we would allow her to explore new things and try new activities soccer becoming a favorite. But when it finally reared its ugly head I knew GRIEF had taken a backseat and never went away or was properly addressed. it was so bad that in the weeks/months after her death I would get a mailer or a phone call asking how I was doing. “how the hell do you think I am doing”? I would politely decline their services and hang up. Finally after a year I asked them to stop calling me. I started throwing away the items in the mail. Really did I need a reminder every so often she was dead? NO I live with it daily, thanks for asking. But was I living with it or masking it? That is the real question.
For the past 6 months or so I have been battling some “stuff” and I really wasn’t sure what but I blamed everything, work, finances, friends, my family etc. But then one day it hit me out of the blue and like a ton of bricks. You see subconsciously I was suppressing these feelings of grief because I was supposed to be the strong one just like my mom. One night I grabbed the blanket, Now this blanket has been on my headboard since I got it. I placed it their knowing my mom was close as I slept. I had it made from my moms clothes and I wrapped up in it (first time in 2 yrs) and I cried myself to sleep. I knew then what the issue was and once I put a name to it things became clearer. Everyone says take time to grieve, and I thought I had. The issue was I did for my dad for 20 yrs. But with my mom it was a short 4.5 months start to finish. No time to wrap my head around it before it was upon us. Some say it was a blessing that it went quick and I agree from the standpoint of pain and suffering but not from my own selfish place. It wasn’t until recently I saw a FB post from someone surrounding me making plans and such for the holidays and I realized that I don’t have that anymore. That I am not included in anyone’s plans but my own. I love my husband and daughter with every breath inside of me but I miss the sense of family and it isn’t always for me as no one will replace my parents but its for our daughter to experience all her family especially at special times of the year like the holidays. I want her to have amazing memories but its hard when everyone is spread out and such. We do our very best to show her what family is and the love we give is priceless. But she lost 2 grandparents in a short time of her young life and I want to make sure she has the sense of the other side of family as well.
To summarize the reason for this lengthy 2 part blog is for it to possibly help someone else going through the same situation. You may not know it today or next month but know that you are allowed to take time to cry, to be alone, to be mad, to rejoice in their going home. But remember you are never alone, they are always there and you can talk to them whenever you need to. Reach out to a friend that might also have went through this. Sometimes people are “afraid” to talk to you but to be honest I love talking about my parents but people are afraid to sir up memories. I live in my memories of my parents and do my best to make amazing ones with my family. If you know of someone that has lost a close family member do me a favor reach out and just check in on them. Don’t lead with “how are you doing now that ________ is gone” Just ask how they are doing? Engage in chat about something not related to their loved one. As conversation goes on they will open up when they need to. One last favor I ask of you….. if you still have your parents, grandparents reach out and hug them, visit them or call. cause I would give anything for the phone in heaven to work.
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